An independent expert reference group has been established to advise the Welsh government on the transition from the General Teaching Council Wales to the Education Workforce Council, as set out in the Education (Wales) Bill.
The independent chair of the group is to be Gareth Jones, whose considerable experience will enable him to lead the group in providing expert advice on the establishment of the new Education Workforce Council.
Mr Jones served as a headteacher in Wales for 14 years, before moving on to a role as Wales Secretary for the Association of School and College Leaders and becoming a member of the General Teaching Council Wales for six years.
Reforms are currently underway to establish the Education Workforce Council and the independent expert reference group will be responsible for ensuring the transition from the General Teaching Council Wales goes as smoothly as possible. The new council is to operate from 2015, subject to approval of the Education (Wales) Bill by the National Assembly for Wales.
Key stakeholders and leaders across the wider education workforce are to be consulted in establishing the group.
As part of the Education (Wales) view, further education learning support workers and school learning support workers will be required to register with the Education Workforce Council. The improved regulation and support provided to the wider education workforce is expected to raise standards of teaching and the quality of learning.
In order to support the wider education workforce, the new council must have the requisite skills, knowledge and expertise and the independent expert reference group will ensure this is the case.
The existing registration system is to continue without interruption and will not adversely affect teachers.
Mr Lewis commented: "I have every confidence that the Independent Expert Reference Group will help us in ensuring that a newly formed Education Workforce Council quickly realises its full potential.
"Public trust and confidence in the Education Workforce Council will be essential if it is to fulfil its functions fully and I'm pleased that Gareth Jones has agreed to lead the group in its important work."
Posted by Harriet McGowan